Sunday, October 4, 2009


Charles Bremner's thoughts on the revival of the Franco-German couple and the choice of a president and foreign minister of Europe.

Asian Influence

All right, this isn't about politics, but it's Sunday, and French attitudes toward other regions of the world are reflected in shifting tastes, man ist was man isst, I'm a bit of a foodie, etc. etc. So I thought I'd note this piece on Asian influences on Parisian cooking.

And then, for a political angle, can there really be a restaurant in Paris named KGB?

The two best current examples of the gastronomic romance between East and West are KGB, featuring William Ledeuil’s brilliant Thai-accented contemporary French bistro cooking, and Yam’Tcha, a tiny bistro in a side street in Les Halles.

And why is this the only restaurant in the piece without a Web link? Something to do with the secretive ways of the KGB? Or is this one of those punning names, supposed to suggest cagibi, perhaps (which would require an anglophone mispronunciation of the G, to be sure).

One Last Polanski Roundup

I've had about all the Polanski news I can stand, but The Times today has a useful roundup. Two noteworthy bits. Although Frédéric Mitterrand said he had discussed the case with the president before making his statement in support of Polanski, the Elysée is reserved:

But it says something about French popular opinion that President Nicolas Sarkozy, the ministers’ boss, has so far declined to take up Mr. Polanski’s case. A government spokesman, Luc Chatel, said simply last week: “We have a judicial proceeding under way that is a serious affair, the rape of a minor, and the American and Swiss justice systems are carrying out their work.”

And the mother of murdered actress Marie Trintignant is supporting Polanski despite having opposed efforts by fellow celebrities to win lenient treatment for her daughter's murderer, rock star Bertrand Cantat.